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Putin Meets Chechen Leader Amid Rumors of Ill Health

Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov meet in the Kremlin. kremlin.ru

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday met with Ramzan Kadyrov in what may have been an attempt to dispel rumors that the Chechen leader is in poor health.

Earlier this month, unverified claims spread on social media that Kadyrov was suffering from serious kidney problems, with some sources even suggesting that he had died. 

In response, Kadyrov published a series of videos on the messaging app Telegram to show that he is “alive and well.”

At the Kremlin meeting on Thursday, Putin praised Kadyrov for his region’s economic performance and offered the Chechen leader to discuss “a list of issues.”

“I’d like to boast about… good results," Kadyrov said, noting that "Every day we take prisoners, destroy equipment” in the war in Ukraine. 

“The soldiers are in good spirits today,” he added. “They have no problems with communication or equipment.”

State-run media teased Putin’s sit-down with Kadyrov as “a meeting that will answer many questions.”

The Kremlin has so far declined to comment on the reports that Kadyrov is in poor health.

Putin's meeting with Kadyrov also comes days after the Chechen leader posted a graphic video of his son beating a Russian man who was detained on suspicion of publicly burning a Koran.

So far, the video has elicited little response from Russian authorities, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying Tuesday that he "didn't want to [answer]" reporters' questions about the filmed beating.

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